17 February 2022

Water Damage: What to do if your luxury watch gets wet

A luxury watch is something you should be proud of and a prized possession which you want to wear wherever you are, so it’s important to ensure that your treasured timepiece is fully waterproof (where intended) in order to avoid costly repairs while knowing just what to do should the worst happen.

How to tell if your watch has been damaged by water

The biggest clue that your watch has suffered from water damage is usually condensation — that’s basically the surest way to know if your timepiece has been compromised. So if you look at your watch and find that the crystal on the surface has dew or droplets of water inside, that’s a pretty clear sign that there is moisture within the case.

Another thing to be mindful of is the performance of the watch. So if you also find that the hands of your timepiece stutter or stop completely, there’s a good chance some of the more delicate movement parts may have been affected by moisture inside the watch.

If your watch has luminous features, t’s also crucial to check these aspects, particularly those on the watch hands and markers, and see if they still glow in the dark as, if they don’t, there is a good sign that they have been water damaged (although this can also occur from age).

What to do if your luxury watch is damaged by water

There are plenty of myths and rumours doing the rounds about what you can do if your luxury watch sustains water damage, such as putting it on the radiator or placing it in a bag of rice overnight or in a sunny spot on the window ledge with the crown out.

The thinking here is that this will allow the heat to draw away the moisture from the movement and cause the water inside the watch to dry faster, however, by doing this you, in some cases you might well be doing more harm.

That’s because excessive heat or conditions can often cause harm to your watch and with this in mind, we recommend you seek the help of specialist watchmakers such as ourselves who have years’ of experience when it comes to repairing luxury watches damaged by water.

Prevention is the best approach

If water gets into the workings of your luxury watch the consequences can be devastating, not to mention expensive, as this can often lead to vital components such as the movement, hands and dial rusting; seriously affecting its performance.

So it’s always best to take precautions to guarantee that your luxury watch is fully waterproof in order to prevent the problems and costs that water damage can cause further down the line, not to mention the personal upset of potentially losing one of your most prized possessions.

Even if it’s something as simple as checking for any chips or cracks in the glass while ensuring the crown is screwed down tightly at all times these are all effective methods when it comes to preventing the harmful effects of water damage while a thorough pressure test will also provide extra peace of mind.

At Luxury Watch Repairs we offer a free pressure testing service which will enable us to check that your watch is thoroughly waterproof and can be done on the spot and usually only takes around 10 minutes – what’s more it’s completely free of charge.

Though please remember, if you’re going on holiday and wish to have your luxury watch checked before you go, then we recommend that you bring it in around 10-14 days before you travel in case you require any work to be carried out. We also recommend that your luxury watch is fully insured (household often covers this) in order to cover any costly repairs you might need should it be damaged by water.

How we can help

If the unthinkable happens and your luxury watch does sustain water damage then you’ll need the help of the experts. Since a movement can have hundreds of small pieces, everything will need to be dismantled, cleaned and re-assembled correctly

We’ll ultrasonically clean each component using specialist equipment and solutions to get rid of any foreign particles which may have accumulated over the years while any parts that have been irreversibly damaged by moisture will be replaced.

We will then reassemble the entire movement and reinsert it into the case of your watch before ensuring that the timing is still accurate and testing the watch thoroughly before delivering it back to you as good as new.

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